Before I Wake (2016)


Probably the closest Flanagan has come, so far, to making a del Toro-esque gothic fairy tale. Plays more like a dark fantasy movie than a horror film and, once you refit your expectations accordingly, is all the better for it. The concept doesn’t necessarily sustain interest for the whole film though and I did find myself tuning in and out at odd points.

On the other hand, like every Flanagan movie, it does feel anchored by some deeply personal inspirations. It’s an emotional film that gets into the ache of its characters, to the point where the more horror-centric elements feel like a bit of a marketing necessity rather than a natural part of its make-up. The filmmaking, as ever, is solid as hell. It’s actually amazing to see how much more confident this guy becomes with every subsequent film he makes. Might be my least favourite Mike Flanagan movie, but even as a minor expression it is unmistakably of a piece with the rest of his oeuvre. What the fuck was with Thomas Jane’s hair though?

Watched on Netflix.

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